Opinion: Blame banks for $147-million anonymous casino drafts

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Bowman said he didn’t even learn of the issue until December 2019.

He thought legal and privacy concerns had been overlooked and questioned, “whether the (Project Athena) flow and exchange of information as proposed (by the RCMP) is acceptable and appropriate with the legal constraints within the Canadian regime including privacy legislation.”

On top of that, “other priorities took precedence.”

On Sept. 14, 2020, TD finally implemented the change to its bank drafts by manually adding the purchaser’s name in B.C., and it plans to have a national automated system in place next year, Bowman added.

The Big Six were major suppliers of the unsourced money that flowed through B.C. casinos, but the public must wait until Cullen’s final report to learn what they said behind closed doors — or maybe not, it seems, depending on how the jurisdictional question is settled.

“As I am sure people can understand, there could be a serious negative impact — not just for the banks, but also for public interest — to have people learn the specialized knowledge of what money launderers are doing and how banks are addressing the issue,” explained Brock Martland, senior commission counsel who brought the application to go in-camera.

“It would give rise to a realistic likelihood that bad actors would learn what works and what doesn’t, what the banks do and don’t do, and what gaps exist that they can take advantage of.”

So the system’s porous and we can’t handle the truth?

The world’s banks are at the centre of the money-laundering problem because of the digital and regulatory integration of the global economic system.

Since the financial crisis in 2008, they have been fined billions (primarily by the U.S.) for turning a blind eye and for their involvement in money-laundering.

The hearings continue online.

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